11/28 Practice Recap: WR Junior Hemingway Will be Out Against Denver from The Mothership
Starting slot receiver
Junior Hemingway, a player who has been targeted by Alex Smith22 times this season, will be listed as out Sunday night against the Denver Broncos according to Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.
Hemingway suffered a concussion in last Thursday's game against the Oakland Raiders.
That unfortunate news was met with some positive for the Chiefs Friday in the form of
Donnie Avery, who Reid said could potentially be active come Sunday.
Chiefs vs. Broncos: Five Things to Watch from The Mothership
2. Chiefs defensive backs' ability to tackle in space
The Broncos rank fifth in the NFL in with 1,577 yards after the catch from their skill position players this season.
When you combine Manning's ability to get the ball out quickly (in fact, he's the fastest in the NFL) to playmakers like Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas with the ball in space, the Chiefs defensive backs have to be able to come up and make tackles when they're put on the spot.
"Knowing that the ball comes out quick and we're a press-man team, you've got to win the first five yards," cornerback
Sean Smithsaid. "That means getting your hands on receivers, throwing off timing and just staying tight to your coverage. We know Manning isn't going to take a hit and that the ball is going to come out quick and he's going to put the ball exactly where it needs to be for his receiver to make a play."
Chiefs vs. Broncos: How to Watch & Listen from The Mothership
Parking & Stadium Gate Times
3:00p.m. - Parking lot gates open
5:00p.m. - Scout Investments Club Level gates open
6:00p.m. - Stadium gates open
6:30p.m. - First pregame signal will sound indicating one hour until kickoff
KCChiefs.com Video: Under the Helmet: Dontari Poe in Studio
KCChiefs.com Video: Andy Reid Press Conference 11/28
Week 13: Friday injury report from Chiefs Digest
Avery (groin) put in a full practice Friday and is officially listed as probable, which as defined by the NFL means a "virtual certainty will be available for normal duty."
Still, coach Andy Reid was coy on Avery's role or if the seventh year-pro would suit up.
"There's a chance," Reid said after Friday's practice. "He practiced this week and looked pretty good. We will see how things go."
Another issue is that until Avant signed with the Chiefs last week, he and quarterback Alex Smith were strangers. They had never played together, so they worked this week to resolve some of the inevitable timing problems that arise in these situations.
"Is there going to be a little bit of timing (problems)? Probably," Pederson said. "You can't do it in four days. You probably can't do it in eight days. It's going to take a little time.
"(It takes) longer than seven days or three or four practices. That's why (the Chiefs can only give Avant) a certain number of routes than we can focus on in practice and carry over to the game."
Chiefs WR Jason Avant primed for action Sunday night from Chiefs Digest
Kansas City could feature a three-receiver set with Avery, Avant and Dwayne Bowe in Week 13, arguably the best seasoned trio of wide receivers the Chiefs have had this season.
Avant has been in numerous big games throughout his career and jumps right into the fire against an AFC West rival. And given his experience, Avant said the Chiefs locker room has been focused throughout the week during game preparations.
The Denver Broncos couldn't lose any more linebackers, their weakest point on defense before the season even began and the injury bug started biting.
Then, starting weakside man Danny Trevathan was lost for many weeks due to multiple broken bones in the same leg and even more recently it was middle linebacker Nate Irving who severely sprained an MCL who was placed on the season-ending Injured Reserve.
In Trevathan's place making plays all season has been Brandon Marshall, a backup turned starter who leads the team in tackles with 94 total tackles, 74 solo as well as six passes defended and two forced fumbles.
Chiefs vs. Broncos preview from ESPN
Jamaal Charles had just two carries in the Week 2 meeting with the Broncos, and the Chiefs still found a way to grind out 133 yards rushing in the 24-17 Broncos win. How has Charles fit in the offense since? And do you think Andy Reid sees him as a 20-carry-a-game runner?
Teicher: The Chiefs have tried to wean themselves away from so much reliance on Charles, but are back to facing the fact he's their best offensive player. You'll remember he left that earlier Broncos game with a foot injury and also didn't play in the next week's game at Miami. But since then, he's been as effective as he's ever been in running the ball. His production as a receiver is way down. The Chiefs have been unable to get their screen game going with any consistency.
Week 13 Preview: Broncos @ Chiefs from Chiefs Digest
Despite the extra time off, home field advantage and the emotional story of safety Eric Berry, the Chiefs will need to play a near-perfect game to beat the Broncos.
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning has been fantastic throughout his career against the Chiefs, and with Berry out, expect him to attack the Chiefs secondary early and often...
...Although the Chiefs will have an emotional advantage, look for Manning to continue his winning ways against Kansas City.
Outcome: Broncos 38, Chiefs 24
Expect Chiefs' defense, crowd to upend Manning, Broncos from The Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Chiefs, 7-4 and one game behind the Broncos in the division, are riding a four-game win streak at Arrowhead Stadium that includes victories over New England and Seattle.
The formula for Kansas City's offensive success all season should carry over against Denver...
...A week ago, the Broncos needed a fourth-quarter rally on their home field to beat Miami. The fates of last season's Super Bowl teams seem to be changing. While the Seahawks are gaining steam, the Broncos appear to be fading.
The Chiefs, of course, are coming off an embarrassing loss at Oakland. A win here wipes that away. It will be an emotional night in Kansas City, and I'm serious about taking the home 'dog to upend the Broncos.
NFL Week 13 preview: Chiefs get another shot at Broncos from The Boston Globe
Comments: Broncos edged Chiefs, 24-17, in Week 2 but KC leads the series, 56-52 . . . In his past nine games, Chiefs QB Alex Smith has throw for 1,754 yards, 12 TDs, and 1 INT . . . Broncos QB Peyton Manning (sorry but that Fritos pizza is just wrong) posted his NFL-record 35th game with 4 TD passes last week . . . Player to watch: Denver WR Demaryius Thomas has eclipsed 100 yards in seven of last eight games.
We can analyze this game from all angles to the cows come home. It simply comes down to this. Denver has not looked good on the road this season and Kansas City is traditionally a tough place to play. Plus you add in the fact that Chiefs might be an inspired group following the Berry news earlier in the week and you may have all the makings of an upset.
Sometimes it's just that easy.
Sports Network predicted outcome: Chiefs 28, Broncos 17
Denver-Kansas City: How Chiefs beat Broncos in a must-win game from FOX Sports
It's clear the Chiefs are a much better team when they establish the run, and Smith is a better QB. In his career as a starter, he's 45-20-1 with a 85.8 passer rating when his team rushes for 100 yards or more. Those figures jump to 24-3-1 and 94.9 when it's 150 yards or more.
The Chiefs must crack the code of Denver's raucous and repellant run defense. Here are some of the Chiefs' best plays they've shown on tape, which will be on full display Sunday night and give Kansas City its best shot at romping Denver and keeping its playoff hopes alive.
The Kansas City Chiefs would love to run, say, 29 more plays than the Denver Broncos in Sunday night's game between the teams at Arrowhead Stadium. They would love to have the ball for more than 36 minutes, leaving less than 24 minutes for Peyton Manning and the high-scoring Denver offense.
They would be thrilled to convert on 69 percent of their third-down plays while holding Manning and the Broncos to a 38-percent conversion rate. They would be happy if they committed four fewer penalties than the Broncos do.
They would think that if all of the above happens, the Chiefs would beat the Broncos for the first time since Denver's quarterback was Tim Tebow.
But the Chiefs had all of those advantages in their Sept. 14 game against the Broncos - and they still lost.
The bizarre DEN-KC history from DenverBroncos.com
But the successful stretches Manning and the Broncos have posted against the Chiefs belie just how hard-fought most of those games have been. Of Manning's seven wins over KC with the Colts, four have been decided by just one score. Since No. 18 joined the Broncos, Denver's five-game win streak hasn't exactly been filled with blowouts...
...Now the Broncos head back to Arrowhead, where Andy Reid's team has beaten the Seahawks and Patriots by a combined 31 points and the noise level has been measured as high as 142.2 decibels, an official world record. With a win, the Broncos would pull within three games of tying the series. But for the streakiness to continue, the Broncos will have to bring their best in Kansas City.
3. Will Alex Smith have to throw 30 or more passes?
How's this for a pair of statistics?
A) The Chiefs have won seven games so far this season and only once in those seven games did they throw the ball at least 30 times.
B) The Chiefs threw the ball 30 or more times in all four of their losses.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say the Chiefs need to ride their running game against the Broncos in light of those numbers. More importantly, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is due for a big day on the ground. Charles has averaged 6.5, 8, and 4.2 yards per carry in the last three games, respectively, and he is still a threat to score from almost anywhere on the field.
Cover-Two: Forecasting the returns of three displaced starting quarterbacks from Sports Illustrated
Must-win watch: Which team is most in need of a win in Week 13?
Burke: Kansas City. Because of last Thursday's surprising loss in Oakland, the Chiefs' push to overtake Denver in the AFC West could give way to a spot outside the playoff picture rather quickly. They have a tenuous hold on the conference's No. 6 seed at the moment, but the Dolphins, Bills and entire AFC North are pushing hard.
A loss Sunday would leave Kansas City essentially three games back of Denver -- any tie in the standings at the end of the season then would go the Broncos' way on a head-to-head tiebreaker. The Chiefs also have visits to Arizona (Week 14) and Pittsburgh (Week 16) left, plus a regular-season finale against San Diego.
That's a tough finish, doubly so if the Chiefs find themselves needing to run the table for wild-card consideration.
Most of the hotels around the stadium are full for Sunday night.
The Rey Garza, the manager for the Four Points Sheraton near the stadium complex, said Sunday night has been sold out for almost a year.
Vikings, Chiefs or Packers: What's Siouxland's NFL allegiance? from The Sioux City Journal
McCloy's dedication to a team a whole time zone removed is common in the Sioux City region, where the closest National Football League franchise is 300 miles away. Being marooned means Siouxland has a hodgepodge of fans, with lawn flags for the Kansas City Chiefs, jerseys for the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers at stores, and Minnesota Vikings bumper stickers in parking lots this time of year.
Compared to college football fans with plenty of home-state options, local NFL supporters have to look across state lines.
The 1957 Draft Was One Of The Best Ever from Football.com
Len Dawson - QB - Purdue - drafted in the first round (No. 5 overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers -Did not play much in three years with the Steelers and two with Cleveland, but his fortunes rocketed once he got to the AFL's Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs and was reunited with head coach Hank Stram, who had been an assistant at Purdue when he was there. Over the next 14 years, he led the league in completion percentage seven times, including six in a row, and finished his career with 28,711 yards passing and 239 touchdowns.